Last year Nintendo created a special offer for Smash Bros. fans(at least in the US and Canada). If you bought Smash on both the Wii U and 3DS as well as registered them to your Club Nintendo account by January 13th, 2015 you would be eligible for a free soundtrack offer. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase both games, register them and recently received my long awaited copy! Curious to know what this is like? Read on to find out!
Do you love Smash Bros.? How about the music used in the game? If so, this deal was pretty much the best thing you could have been offered. A full professional soundtrack release to one of the 3DS and Wii U’s biggest games. If soundtracks aren’t your thing or if you have only a casual involvement with the series, then clearly this isn’t for you. However, if you settle everything in Smash I hope you were able to snag a copy of this gift! So enough talk, what’s the CD set like?!
The packaging is a standard double CD case. So nothing out of the ordinary here. The quality is what you would expect from any CD you would purchase. The discs are labeled just as expected as well.
The only item to note is that my discs were rather difficult to remove and without care it was easy to bend the discs before they would pop out. In addition, the center plastic holding the discs seemed to detach itself easily from the case. This is actually better than what it sounds as it can allow easier handling of the discs, but these are two items that were a bit unexpected as when I first opened it I was nervous I would drop them or crack the disc removing it from the packaging.
This isn’t to say I am complaining as I am grateful for Nintendo’s generosity. I just wanted to share my experience so if you were able to get one of these and noticed the same issues you can know you are not alone. If you did and it’s just me, feel free to let me know in the comments!
Aside from the CD’s, the cover art is removable from the packaging and unfolds to show a message from Masahiro Sakurai as well as full track listings for all songs on both CD’s. It’s simple, elegant and well designed. I personally enjoyed finding the message from Sakurai the most out of the entire experience.
This set contains 2 CD’s with 36 tracks each. One RED and the other BLUE. The RED CD containing mostly songs from the 3DS version and BLUE contains mostly songs from the Wii U version. That’s 72 tracks total which is an incredible amount of music to listen to. Songs seem to average around the 2 minute mark with some shorter. Although 2 minutes is not near the 3-5 minutes that most commercial music is, I feel the tracks play out long enough that you don’t think it was cut short. It’s a great bite sized approach that left me satisfied with each track as the next started without wanting to hear more. However as tastes vary your mileage may vary if you get the chance to experience it.
The songs span a large number of the games that are included in some fashion in Smash Bros. with some games/franchises appearing more than others. The only noticeable omission for me is that Mega Man isn’t represented at all while Pac-Man (one of the other new characters) has 3 songs present(1 on RED and 2 on BLUE). This is probably because I am a Mega Man fan and he is one of my new favorites to play with in the game. However, other than this observation the franchises with multiple songs span multiple games so everything still sounds fresh.
The sound quality is beautifully crisp stereo and I found that the songs have much more depth to them than what I previously noticed in game. Being able to listen to them in isolation really brings a whole new life into the songs you have heard dozens if not hundreds or thousands of times while playing. I feel as if until now I unappreciated the care that went into the background music for the game.
Playing the CD on a PC
Being a soundtrack CD that was limited release by Nintendo had given me worry about being able to listen to the CD on my PC while also getting proper track names. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how I was able to obtain the proper data though.
When I first put in my CD’s I attempted to play them in Windows Media Player. This created a bit of shock as all the tracks showed up but most tracks appear to be in Japanese and only a few words are in English.
With this I decided to open up iTunes to see if it could find the track information I was looking for. Surprisingly enough it found 4 matches for each disc. I selected the two below for the RED and Blue CD’s. The RED CD appears to need no further modification of data while the BLUE CD needs some manual adjustments to match perfectly. I didn’t look in detail at the other entries as they didn’t include the disc color/designation in the title. So one of the others may be a better option, I decided to play it safe. This selection for CD’s appears to be saved in iTunes, but the naming can be used to create a personal digital copy(so long as your local laws allow it).
So, no issues playing through iTunes, and I haven’t had a chance to play through other devices. I assume other media players will react similar to Windows Media Player with the mixed language names or listing only track numbers.
This has to be one of the best Club Nintendo offers that I have been able to take advantage of. I enjoy listening to game soundtracks and this one is no exception. I want to thank Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai for offering this compilation of songs for fans to enjoy! I hope all of you Smash fans out there were eligible took part in this special offer as it is truly a unique and fantastic gift.